5 ways to shop a little smarter this Christmas

If cash flow is looking a tad grim this year, here are some ideas to up the presents under the tree, noting it’s the presence around it that really counts.

We don’t need to list the events of 2020 to say it’s been a big one, particularly as we approach the festive season, where many common face-to-face
interactions will be limited to a phone or video call. As we grapple with a slightly different-looking Christmas, the good news is
many of us will go into it with a new-found appreciation of the presence of loved ones over the presents of the material kind.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for some tips around managing the costs of gift giving, here are some ways you could potentially shop a little smarter, so
your money goes a little further.

Create a plan and write yourself a list
While we might love the sound of ripping through wrapping paper, much of this generosity is unplanned, with nearly 75%
of Aussies indicating they don’t budget for gifts, which could lead to increased pressure on household budgets well into
the new year. While there’s much to be said for the spur-of-the-moment splurge, more of our generosity could be planned, with a bit of
time being spent thinking about what you might buy before hitting the shops. As many events, such as Christmas, anniversaries and birthdays fall on the
same day each year, it may also be somewhat easier planning for these occasions in advance.

Buy in bulk and look at cheaper alternatives
Bulk buying multiple gifts that aren’t intended for a specific occasion is a growing trend, with one in three of us
doing it, providing a way to save both time and money Women (31%) are more likely than men (24%) to be wise to the blessings of bulk
buying, however it’s an even more popular trend among young families It also goes without saying to keep your
finger on the pulse when it comes to sales. In the lead up to Christmas, there’s Click Frenzy, Black Friday, Cyber Monday,
Green Monday and Free Shipping Day, not to mention Boxing Day if you happen to be seeing someone after the 25th.

Give the gift of time or skill
There’s more to giving than things you can wrap – experiences matter too. Instead of another bottle of wine or a vanilla-scented
candle, taking someone out for lunch, or providing a home-cooked meal, could be more up their alley.
In fact, given the choice, 61% of us would opt for quality time, with only 30% preferring cash or a tangible gift. Intangible gifts are
also particularly important for those aged 18 to 24, with more than half saying that an intangible gift such as time, an experience,
or learning a new skill has had a more significant impact on shaping their life. On top of that, if you’re lucky enough to
be going to someone else’s place this Christmas and you’ve got skills in cooking, decorating or manicuring lawns, offering
these services to help with the prep work may be a highly valuable commodity for those taking on the job of hosting.

What is your Christmas shopping hack?